On Tuesday, April 13th – ALDA Secretary General Secretary Antonella Valmorbida has been invited, with other experts, to take part in the Committee of Ministers’ hearing session at the Council of Europe. This is the first time that Civil Society Organisations have been invited to join; thus this occasion gained particular relevance in the process of making citizens’ voice heard at European level.
Entitled “Elections during the Covid-19 crisis: the role of civil society organisation”, the informal exchange of views was structured on two rounds of questions. ALDA Secretary General was among the representatives of CSOs invited to the first moment of discussion, together with:
- Mr Ken Godfrey, Executive Director, European Partnership for Democracy;
- Ms Tanja Hollstein, Senior Election Adviser, Westminster Foundation for Democracy;
- Ms Ana Rusu, Senior Election Adviser, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Warsaw.
CSOs can play an essential role […] in ensuring “that electoral processes are efficient, trusted and in line with international standards”
During the “Question A” panel, experts and professionals got the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience as far as the work of CSOs concerns, in light of the current health crisis. More in depth, guest speakers discussed how Civil Society Organisations, in general, have been able to keep contacts with their public, to continue their work, while adapting their methods. Besides, experts reflected on how the election processes have been managed, also to ensure voter information, education and outreach.
The second half of the session was dedicated to the “Question B” panel, investigating if the Covid-19 pandemic favoured both the use of new digital technologies in electoral processes and awareness raising campaigns. Besides, guests speakers reflected on both the advantages and risks of technological tools (e-registration, e-voting, counting) themselves.
Finally, as reported in the Concluding Remarks, the role of CSOs in acting in an “unbiased and impartial way” was underlined, especially as far as the promotion of “trust in the electoral processes” concerns. Furthermore, it has been noted how, Civil Society Organisations can play an essential role, together with authorities, in ensuring “that electoral processes are efficient, trusted and in line with international standards”
ALDA is motivated to keep its commitment both at local and international level in promoting democracy and citizens’ participation; welcoming and boosting for this initiative of mutual-share among CSOs and institutions.
Read Antonella Valmorbida’s full speech
To further read on the Concluding Remarks click on this link
To know more on the speakers please visit the CoE Agenda